Flirting with 02, 302 & 3420 - Creating Mood with Rosco Gels & Canon Speedlites

Back in June I was honoured to be asked to present a live Speedliting off-camera flash demo at the inaugural Central London SMUG.

What follows is a step-by-step walk-through of the creation of "Flirting with 02, 302 & 3420" - the lighting geeks among us will recognise the numbers as Rosco Cinegel references - flirting, well I do wonder what was going on between Alexandra my actress friend and the guy in the foreground!

Flirting with 02, 302 & 3420

The idea behind this image was to create the mood of a restaurant candle-lit meal without the benefit of a candle in the shot.

Kit used
Canon 50D, 50 mm f1.4
2 x Canon 550 EX Speedlites
Manfrotto Nano stand 5001B
Manfrotto 175 Justin Clamp
2 x Manfrotto 026 Umbrella Adaptor
2 x Frio Cold Shoe
Yong Nuo RF602 Radio Triggers
2 x Gel Clip
6 mm Honeycomb Grid
Rosco Photofoil
Rosco #02 Bastard Amber Cinegel
Rosco #302 Pale Bastard Amber Cinegel
Rosco #3420 Double CTO Cinegel

 1. Camera AV mode, aperture priority f2, 1/25th, ISO 320, WB daylight, RAW & JPEG.

2. Camera to M mode, manual f2.8, 1/60th, ISO 320 - ambient exposure dialled down to create background mood.
3. First flash added using settings above. Power approximately 1/64th, flash tube zoomed to 105 mm. Light was aimed to shoot through the wine bottle and glass to create the break-up effect on Alexandra's left arm.

4. Camera & flash settings unchanged. Gel Cip with Rosco #02 Bastard Amber & #302 Pale Bastard Amber Cinegel to give warmth simulating candle light. Honeycomb grid to create beam to flash. Remember that anything the is not perfectly clear that is placed in front of your flash will reduce the output. In this case the reduction in light output has contributed to the mood in the image.

5. The romantic mood of the image was spoiled by the background voyeurs! Separation from the background has added depth to the image and lifted the foreground ever so slightly. The accent/separation light was attached to the bar just out of shot with the Manfrotto 175 Justin Clamp. This was another Canon 550EX at 128th power roughly 2 - 3 meters from Alexandra. Didn't need oodles of power as it being used direct without bounce, just gel. Colour was added with a single layer of Rosco #3420 Double CTO (Color Temperature Orange) Cinegel and snooted with a double layer of  Rosco Photofoil formed into a vertical slot snoot approximately 1 inch wide by 4 inches high - this controlled the spill of light giving the accent on Alexandra's hair and on the left of the guy in the foreground.

The image above is as the RAW file came out of the camera without any Tweeks in ACR or post-production.

6. The final image with ACR adjustments and the distracting window in the background retouched by Ben Potter.

7. Lighting design.

A relatively simple shot to create using simple gear. I have variations on this shot which I'll post in future.



All the products mentioned here are available from The Flash Centre. Contact Simon Burfoot by email to place your order


  1. Thanks for the post Ian this is exactly the sort of thing I want to learn about and would look forward to at a SMUG.


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